Personal Change Project
Analysis of Current Behavior
The problem behavior I chose to address was my absences from school. Many times I would be too tired to go to class, since I live far away and work in the morning, which negatively effects my grades. Being a freshman, that is a very bad habit to get into at the beginning of my college career, knowing this I decided this would be the best behavior to change. I studied my behavior over the course of a week and noticed that I had missed one day of classes due to laziness and simply being tired. The next week I added the reinforcements and punishments. To begin with I thought of one for each and added on to what worked best for me. For my reinforcements I chose to add a morning coffee as a positive, and adding extra alarms to go off so I would not be able to sleep through the morning and forget about class. For punishments if I missed a class I added an extra hour of study time as a positive and took away my laptop for an hour as a negative.
Application of Behavior Modification Techniques and Analysis of Results
After applying the negative and positive punishments I realized that they did not work for me. To begin with, adding extra study time proved unsuccessful because I would have a hard time focusing because it wasn't something I was in the mood to do, as it was a punishment. As for taking my laptop away, I had a hard time with that as well because I have to do work with it, which would just make me even more unproductive than I had been when I started. After those did not work I decided to turn my focus to the reinforcements.
Luckily, the reinforcements worked much better for me. The negative reinforcement of adding extra alarms worked very well, I did not oversleep as I had the week before. On the same note, what worked the best for me were the positive reinforcements, so I used several of them. To begin with I added a coffee or tea every morning so I would be less tired and more likely to go to class. When I found that worked the positive reinforcement worked well I decided to add another. I then added going to get my nails done at the end of the week if I made it to all my classes as an intensive. When that worked I decided to keep it going even further, even after I completed this project. I came up with the idea to continue coming up with rewards at the end of each week as long as I go to every class.
I believe the positive reinforcements were the most important when it comes to my success because those really motivated me to improve my behavior. The negative punishment on the other hand, did not contribute at all to my success. In the end my project was a success and hopefully it will continue to be as time goes on.